FERNTREE Gully District Cricket Association captain Andrew Devenish has applauded his young side's efforts at Melbourne Country Week last week.
The FTGDCA side won its first two matches against West Gippsland and Hamilton and looked poised to push for a grand final berth in the division 2 competition before losing its last two games to Bairnsdale, the eventual premier, and Traralgon.
Devenish said his side would take plenty of experience from the week as its faced top-level opponents on turf wickets, a surface much different to the synthetic wickets used in the FTGDCA. "We had a young side with several of them making their debuts at Melbourne Country Week. It wasn't a bad week at all."
Ferntree Gully Footballers' duo Nick Bogar, aged 25, and Luke McComb, aged 17, were the cream of the FTGDCA's batsmen and Bogar and Ferntree Gully star Muhammad Farrukh were the best of the bowlers.
"Bogar scored runs each day and was probably our best player for the week," Devenish said. "McComb made an impressive 76 on day two and got 40 on the last day on a deck which was hard to bat on.
"The younger guys haven't played much on turf and its a lot different to what they were used to and facing quality opposition made them have to step up each day so they will take a lot from it."
Devenish praised the efforts of his side and thanked senior teammates Jay Colee and Farrukh for their leadership along with the excellent support from officials.
Melbourne Country Week Scores
Day 1 at Casey Fields
FTGDCA 6-229 (Bogar 76no Bradbury 43 L McComb 30) d West Gippsland 185 (Farrukh 5-33).
Day 2 at Prahran
FTGDCA 9-231 (L McComb 76 Dobb 59 Farrukh 30) d Hamilton 9-213 (Farrukh 4-31 Colee 3-44).
Day 3 at Frankston
Bairnsdale 6-265 & 0-34 (Colee 3-40) d FTGDCA 189 (Bogar 44 Colee 31)
Day 4 at Mt Waverley
Traralgon 7-212 (Bogar 4-27 Farrukh 3-26) d FTGDCA 9-207 (Bogar 42 L McComb 40)